Men’s soccer wins first game at Fredonia Classic in 3 years


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Freshman forward August Finn scored his first collegiate goal on Friday against Baldwin-Wallace, helping to lead his team to a 2-0 win.

Andrew David Kuczkowski, Staff Writer

With two weeks until their SUNYAC slate begins, the Buffalo State men’s soccer team (4-0-1) ended another week undefeated and got their first win at the Fredonia Classic in three years.

The Bengals faced Baldwin Wallace this past Friday, and played a stagnant and scoreless first half. With under 10 minutes to go in the game, sophomore Sammy Wasson crossed the ball into the box as freshman August Finn hit the back of the net, his first goal of the season, to break the tie and give the Bengals a late game lead.

Buffalo State added to their lead about four minutes later with a cross by senior Barry Hunt which was finished by junior Lorne Maxime, his first goal of the season. The game ended in a 2-0 victory, and junior Robby Kuhnle got his first shutout in goal, the Bengals’ third shutout of the season.

The second game of the Fredonia Classic against the Penn State Behrend Lions was a frigid and cold game with sideways rain.

“Oh, it was sloppy on the turf too,” junior captain Luke Pavone said. “The ball was just skipping all over the place. There wasn’t much possession in the game, which is kind of the style we like to play.”

The wind blew from one net to the other. In the first half, the Bengals had the wind blowing on their backs, helping them clear the ball and giving them opportunities to strike. However, they couldn’t capitalize on the advantage the wind provided.

Their best chance came with 11 minutes left in the first half as Pavone was lining up for a free kick from well outside of the box. He aimed for the net as the crowd rose with excitement, the wind blew with force and the right pole rang with authority as the closest goal of the night at that point was inches away from reaching the back of the net.

“Well, we were going with the wind,” Pavone said, “so I figured I would put it right on target and see what happens. It just happened to go off the post. It was close. It was a little unlucky.”

The second half mirrored the first as the team who had the wind at their back was typically in control. However, neither team scored during the game. After two overtimes, the contest ended in a 0-0 tie.

Head coach Mark Howlett made sure to mention that the Bengals remained undefeated despite not coming out with a win.

“As a game that had everything [like] the weather,” he said, “it had some wind, it had excitement, it had some dull moments, but ultimately I am very pleased that we haven’t conceded [a goal] again this weekend and we will continue to build.”

Buffalo State has not allowed a goal in the last 470 minutes of play. The lone goal that was scored against the Bengals this season was on a penalty kick against Rochester Institute of Technology on Sept 6.

“Feels great,” Banahene said about getting another shutout. “We also had a shutout yesterday. I was hurting a little bit, so Robby stepped in and did a great job. That’s the goal the coach emphasized throughout the whole year is don’t concede. If you don’t concede the worst thing that could happen is what happened today, which is a tie against a great team. They made it to the NCAA tournament last year and they always win their conference.”

During the second half of the game against the Lions, Hunt was kicking all the goalie kicks in place of Banahene due to his injury.

“He’s okay,” Howlett said of Banahene’s injury. “Robby played yesterday and Robby did a fantastic job, making a massive save and kept a clean sheet, so I don’t think it is that important as far as how much our season hinges on it. We’ve got a great backup in Robby and I think we just continue to go.”

Buffalo State will face Clarkson (2-2-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. and St. Lawrence (4-0-1) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in their last week of preparation before facing their first SUNYAC game versus Brockport (4-1).

“This week will be massive for us,” Howlett said. “We play two nationally ranked in the University of Rochester on Tuesday and St. Lawrence and then a very, very good team in Clarkson, so we will continue to find out about ourselves.